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Monday, February 3, 2020
Letters to the Editor, February, 2020
By Letters to the Editor @ 12:51 AM :: 2561 Views

Honolulu Stormwater Costs 400% of US Average

Dear Editor,  February 2, 2020

Why (really) does the City want a separate utility to cover storm water?

Did you know that:

--The City's Federal storm water permit (called a NPDES) is issued every five years by the State DOH?

--The NPDES permit was last issued in 2015 and is up for renewal NOW.

--Over the past 4 decades, Honolulu's stormwater program has fallen way behind other US cities who have managed to improve their systems to keep major urban pollutant loads from contaminating public waters.

--The EPA has been having difficulties with both the DOH and the City with regard to a lax stormwater program for the past 15 years.  The DOH was not doing a good enough job either writing the permits or enforcing the conditions upon a very wily City.

--About 1,200 cities across the nation have formed stormwater utilities as a way to raise the funds necessary to improve their systems and meet Clean Water Act anti-pollution goals.

The City's 2015 NPDES permit finally contained specific language (common to many mainland cities) that specified just how the City should go about cleaning up its stormwater program -- milestones such as # of curb miles swept, number of drain lines inspected and percentage of the system cleaned every year. These conditions would have required the City to dramatically increase the capabilities of the DFM stormwater section and would have cost many millions of dollars.  A month after the permit was issued the City filed a contested case in court, objecting to almost every quantitative condition in the permit.  The State failed to overcome the objections which has allowed the City DFM to ignore many conditions within the permit and avoid the costs associated with these responsibilities.

According to the stormwater utility study, the City DFM budget for stormwater last year was $92M, or about $21 per month per residence, comparable to that of Tacoma or Seattle (as quoted from the Kentucky stormwater utility survey).  What was not reported was that the Kentucky survey also found that the average cost for utilities across the nation was only about $5 per month per household.

I'm in favor of a stormwater utility as it will define a single agency with responsibility for this important government function.  But I'm skeptical about a program that already costs 4-times more than the national average and has delivered a system that is both functionally inadequate and decades behind comparable cities on the mainland.  Perhaps it would be wise to couple consideration of utility formation with an audit of the program performed by one of several nationally recognized professional organizations that offer these services.


Bob Bourke

Honolulu, Oahu

Related: Public Meetings to Discuss Caldwell Rain Tax  

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SB2237: Sen Baker Blocks Abortion Survivor Protection Act

Dear Editor,  February 3, 2020

What is happening to our Aloha, where is our compassion for the innocent, the love for our keiki, have we lost it?  I hope not.

This session a simple non-threatening Senate Bill 2237 was submitted by Sen. Kurt Fevella and co-introduced by Sen. Mercado-Kim and I for one thank them both for their compassion and courage.  The “Abortion Survivor Protection Act”  falls under the Measure Title: “Relating to Children” and not Measure Title: RELATING TO THE TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY it ensures that a viable infant that survived an abortion will be provided medically appropriate, reasonable care and treatment ... the same as any other new born.

Many people are unaware that this actually happens, that a child could actually survive an attempted abortion.  There are survivors in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s who are desperate to have their voices heard ...  stop and take a couple of minutes and listen to them: here!

◊ Abortion Survivors Slam Abortion Activists for Saying They Don’t Exist: We’re Human Beings” (Oct. 14, 2019) ... website!

◊ They Are Real: Meet Born-Alive Abortion Survivors (March 4, 2019) ... website

◊ 300 Americans are Alive Today Who Survived Abortions, They Represent 61 Million Who Didn’t (Jan. 23, 2020) ... website!

◊ Gianna Jessen Asks Congress “If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?” (note she is 43 yrs. old) ... website!

What could possibly be the harm of having this bill heard?  Senator Rosalyn Baker feels that it is not necessary and will not hear it.  I wish she were right and that medical ethics kicks in, however in our world today that is far from being the case.  She is assuming this does not happen here in Hawaii, however there are those that know otherwise.

There are numerous cases across the nation in which human infants who survived were left on the side until they died, some hospital have what they call comfort rooms they are placed in.  Still other survivors are not so fortunate and may have their lives terminated in cruel unspeakable ways.  Because you don’t hear about them, does not mean they don’t happen.

Cases have been found in Chicago, Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Philadelphia among other states that we know of.  Many states are trying to address this issue by implementing and passing laws to ensure that these little survivors are treated with the care they are legally entitled.

→Babies Born Alive After Abortion Can be Left to Die in 16 States  (Oct. 7, 2019) ... website!

→Baby Born Alive at 23 Weeks Was Gasping for Air. Abortion Clinic Put Baby in a Bag, Threw Her in the Trash (Sep 13, 2019) ... website!

→40 Babies Born Alive After Botched Abortions in Just Three States in Three Years (Aug 19, 2019) ... website!

I and many others are hoping Sen. Baker will have a change of heart and give this bill a hearing, she has nothing to lose and these little survivors have everything to gain.


Rita Kama-Kimura

Mililani, Oahu


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